8 is top notch in every sense! The staff truly loves their jobs and care about providing the best possible experience for everyone. I love the judges tips, improv challenges and the special judges awards where the judges actually talk about why they chose a certain routine. The awards are unique, beautiful and high quality. 8 is not “just another competition” - they really are one of the best!
I loved this competition, it was so much fun sadly went I went the power went out, but it was an amazing expireence. The owner was nice and the judges new what they were doing. One part about this competition is that if you weren't ready to dance or wernt there they don't disqualify you instead they give you a new spot.
The main owner is nice and the event is ran pretty smoothly. I will say the judging always seems to be a bit one sided. I wish they would venture out and find a better variety of judges for the new season. I also don't think their own daughter should had been able to compete and run for title at nationals; it just didn't seem like the most sane decision making. If I could give one word of constructive criticism it would be for the staff to venture out and try to make everyone feel just as welcomed and equally favored; keeping in mind that we are all clients who paid good money for your event. Now I will give them the benefit of the doubt in that I highly doubt they even realized they were doing it at times because I get that it is easier to cling to the ones you already know and love in any type of scenario but the constant chit chatting and giggling with the same few directors and students all weekend and not even trying to get to know the others just sets a bit of an awkward tone. Please try to venture out and try to make everyone feel just as welcomed next season. Good luck in the new season!
Thank you so much for the kind words everyone! We absolutely love what we do and it has been such an incredible experience watching 8 develop over the past 3 years! We could not do it without our amazing 8 staff, the fabulous teachers from the studios, and all of the support from each and every one of you in the dance world! We love getting feedback and are always looking at ways to improve, so thank you so much for that!
I wanted to answer a few questions from some of the posts to help you better understand why we do some things the way we do.
The Improv Challenge- yes, eliminations must be done to make our way to the Champion of each age group. It is a lot of fun. When being eliminated, the judges let that dancer know they did a wonderful job and give them a high five or a hug. It is still a very positive experience for the dancers whether they are moving on to the next round or not. We LOVE how the audience is cheering those dancers on the whole time! It is such a fun energetic moment at each event!
The solos- we do allow the dancers to place multiple times. We feel that it is a lot of work going into the song choice, choreographer choice, costume choice, and then of course a lot of rehearsal time goes into each solo as well. Depending on the number of solo entries at each event determines how many total solos will place in overalls, so there are many dancers being recognized for their hard work. Since there is not a discounted rate for additional solos at any competition, 8 National Talent has chosen to allow all solos to be eligible for placing in the overall awards.
Title- The Title winners can come from any level. Many things go into choosing the Title winners for each age group. Of course the solo score is much of the percentage, but they also write an essay and turn in a headshot. The essay can be hand written or typed. We receive many of each. We do suggest the headshot look age appropriate and natural. Sometimes it is possible that a dancer in a lower level scores higher than one in a higher level. They are judged at their level so that it is all fair when deciding on the Title winners.
We cannot w8 for Nationals this summer in San Antonio and Gulf Shores!!! We are also looking forward to season 4 and all of the new cities soon to be posted!!!
Live, Love, Dance,
My only issue with this event was the lack of explanation for title. Both of my daughter's solos placed in the overalls with one coming in second to the title winner. She danced in the elite or must advanced category. The competition pulled the 1st and 2nd runner up from the intermediate dancers. When I asked what judging criteria was used they said facial beauty (my daughter is a working model), her placement at comp (she was 2nd to the overall/title winner and her solo beat the winner's 3rd entry), and her essay. She is in first grade and hand wrote her essay. I typed up what she had written ( I still have her handwritten sheets) and submitted them to my studio owner per the instructions I was given. When I asked why my child didn't at least get a runner up crown, I was told because Heather only likes "handwritten essays" from the younger kids. This information is not on the website. I feel as though my money was basically stolen because the competition never had any intentions on awarding smaller studios and their dancers anything. At the time the essay was submitted they owner should have said to the director, we only accept handwritten essays for first graders (which again I had). My daughter has been up for title before and she sometimes wins... sometimes she doesn't. Not winning is ok, my issue is the money I spent for this "title" and to be judged on criteria that is not in the rules is inconsistent from the 8 mission statement. Being a new competition it was obvious the studios who knew Heather and understood these undisclosed rules.
So fair warning, if your first grader goes for title in the most difficult judging category and stands on the box next to the title winner...she will not win even a runner up crown unless her essay is, and I quote from the 8 staff "written in crayon and has rainbows and butterflies drawn on the edges." Save your cash.
On a side note, the adjudication trophies are very nice and the overall trophies are sturdy.
The number of dance competitions that I am willing to take my kids to keeps shrinking and shrinking. But 8 National Talent is one of the few that we attend every year since they started touring! They consider the ENTIRE experience when setting up their competitions! From the way that they do the scheduling and levels, taking care of teachers before AND during the event, their awesome merchandise, friendly and helpful staff, I could go on and on. You can tell that the main focus of the competition is on the kids and helping them grow as dancers and competitors. The director is incredibly caring and personable and always willing to talk or hear feedback. And I have never been disappointed with the quality of the judges critiques. They reinforce what is being told in class and then some, all while maintaining professionalism and a positive attitude. The critiques are made available online WITHOUT a lengthy waiting period! Overall, it is always an amazing experience that my studio would be willing to travel to attend. LOVE IT!!
A great weekend, just wanted more from the judges.
Such an awesome competition! We feel like family as soon as we walk in the door! The staff and judges are super nice! My girls love the improv challenge even though they are not the best at it they love that they still have a chance to participate. We will ALWAYS attend 8!
8 National Talent is a one of kind dance competition. I absolutely love that it has so many categories and levels so everyone can have a fair opportunity to dance and perform what they have worked so hard on throughout the year. The judging panel was fun and upbeat and truly knew there craft. They gave excellent critiques and encouragements that helped the dancers succeed. I would recommend this competition for any studio as I feel that it is one of the up and coming dance events in the industry.
As we finish out our 2016-17 competition season, I wanted to stop by and give credit where credit is due! After a competition on our schedule sold out months before the due date, we decided to attend 8 National Talent Competition as it's replacement (after hearing MANY great things). We are GLAD we did!! Heather, the owner, was so accommodating! The staff was extremely professional, the competition ran on time & efficiently, awards were given fairly, and my dancers felt VERY welcomed and comfortable!! 8 will be on our schedule for years to come. Thank you, 8, for running a nonpolitical, top-notch competition that is TRULY about the DANCERS!!!
I am a performance coach who has taught dance and acting for over 30 years. Now that I specialize in helping students find, create and tell the story of their choreography, I expect judges to notice this and that it reflect in their critiques. I had clients in Houston I & II, Austin and DFW competitions and was thrilled that they reiterated to students my own observations (in both performance and technique), the significance of the story and creative ideas to help those still working out the kinks. It takes a village to help an artist find their "voice" and I appreciate that the judges at 8 helped me help them. As far as the staff goes, it is professional, delightful, efficient and fair. The kids and parents all told me how much they enjoyed 8 National Talent and look forward to next season as well as Nationals this Summer! I can't forget to mention that the enthusiasm and eloquence possessed by Heather Nicholas, the director, is refreshing. This is one to put on your list folks!!!
Love love love this competition!! We always have a great experience. The Improv challenge and judges warm-ups & tips are such a great experience for the dancers.
Small but very well organized. Staff was great. Awards were nice and the ceremonies fun but not overly lengthy. Judging was consistent and accurate. Love this competition!
This is a great competition! We only brought one student to the San
Antonio Nationals, but they welcomed us and her as if we brought 100
students! She had only planned to attend on solo day, but we received a
call early Sunday morning requesting her presence at the final showdown to
compete for an overall award! She won their improv contest for the senior
competitors, and was in the top 5 for Sr. solos. We are taking our entire
team this year to their regional and national competition! Love this
comp!! And not because our student did so well. She generally does very
well. It was the atmosphere, staff, and amazing judging panel that made
this such a great experience!
It was our first time at 8 National and we loved it! The staff was
friendly and helpful and the event ran very smoothly. We will be returning
with more dancers next year! :)
I had a great experience working for 8 this year as a judge. Everyone on
the staff was super friendly and accommodating. They did their best to keep
everything running on time and smooth for the dancers. The two best thing,
in my opinion, about 8 is that there are no politics in the judging and
they offered classes for the dancers at the end of day one. Well done and I
can\'t wait to work with you again.
There are so many things I love about this competition. I love that there
is an onstage warm up with all dancers and judges tips. This is really
helpful for students to hear first hand what the judges are looking for. I
also love that there is an improv competition. We spend so much time
teaching our girls who to improv and the importance of it so I love that
being a part of the competition. I do think this portion was a little long,
and they could shorten it some so it does not take up so much time, but
overall I love that they have it.
The scoring was a little
inconsistent at this location because they were working out some kinks, but
the verbal critiques were both constructive and encouraging. My students
definitely knew what to work on and what they did well, as opposed to just
what they did poorly. We will be coming back.
I am blown away! 8 Nationsl Talent Competition was such a breath of fresh
air! I loved the fresh approach to competition and the positive,
encouraging atmosphere. They have an amazing staff with excellent
communication and accommodation. We are excited for our next opportunity
with this competition.
I am the Company Director at my dance studio, and we absolutely loved this
competition! They are incredibly organized, and they have unique added
opportunities such as master classes, warm up classes, and judges\' tips.
You can tell that each staff member at 8 truly enjoys what they do. They
are all so kind, sweet, and go above and beyond to help the dancers feel
comfortable. They also set up a teachers\' room complete with snacks and
coffee! So cool! We can\'t wait to come back next year!
So much fun and I feel like in a couple years this will be THE competition
to attend. It\'s an exciting environment for everyone. I love that they
include an improv challenge as it\'s a very important skill. I will say
that I didn\'t love how judges personally eliminated dancers during the
challenge - they tapped them on the shoulder to leave. That\'s a little
much for children. I also wasn\'t crazy about soloists being allowed to
place more than once in the overalls. Overall though it was a great
experience and we can\'t wait to attend next season!
Woohoo first review!
We loved this competition. Loved the improv
competition. Loved the judges and how they made the competitions feel ready
to shine. It was small, as it\'s a brand new competition- but great
experience for our last regional of the season. We just moved to Washington
and sad we can\'t attend this year as they are only in TX and LA...